Viral Hepatitis

The term viral hepatitis is used to describe infection of liver caused by hepatotropic virus. Currently there are five main varieties of these viruses and a sixth poorly characterised, causing distinct type of viral hepatitis.  In addition to the nominal hepatitis viruses, other viruses that can also cause liver inflammation include Herpes simplex, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein–Barr virus, or Yellow fever.

  • Hepatitis A (HAV): causing faecally spread self limiting disease
  • Hepatitis B (HBV): causing parenterally transmitted disease that may become chronic
  • Hepatitis C (HCV): previously termed non A non B (NANB) hepatitis virus involved chiefly in transfusion related hepatitis.
  • Hepatitis Delta virus (HDV): which is sometimes associated as superinfection with hepatitis B infection.
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV): causing waterborne infection
  • Hepatitis G virus (HGV):  It was initially identified as Hepatitis G virus. There is very little evidence that this virus causes hepatitis, as it does not appear to replicate primarily in the liver. It is now classified as GB virus C.

Other infections

Apart from viral hepatitis liver is affected by other infections such as bacterial, spirochaetes and fungi and is involved in some parasitic infestations. Some of which are discussed over here.

Cholangitis

Term used to describe inflammation of intrahepatic or extrahepatic  bile ducts, or both. There are two main types of cholangitis.

Pyogenic cholangitis

Cholangitis occurring secondary to obstruction of a major extrahepatic duct causes pyogenic cholangitis. Bacteria gain access to the obstructed duct and proliferate in the bile. Infection spreads along the branche of obstructed duct and reaches the liver, termed ascending cholangitis. The common infecting bacteria are enteric organisms such as E.coli, Klebsiella and Enterobacter.

Sclerosing cholangitis

Characterized by progressive, sclerosing and obliterative process affecting mainly extrahepatic, sometimes intrahepatic ducts as well.

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